Skip to main content
5:00 pm
>> rejected from brown. >> me, too, that's our connection. interesting. tonight on the young, oprah gets rejected herself from a shop pretty woman episode. mistake bye-bye. >> john: stop and frisk, the controversial anti-hate crime was deemed unconstitutional. if you're not from new york, stop and frisk sounds like a nasty gay bar from the '70s. the g.o.p. is furious that a g.o.p. supreme court upheld g.o.p. designed obamacare and they promise a repeal before it can save any g.o.p. lives. >> it is the final week of current tv which means today is the final installment of a democrat and republican playing ask a tea partier. hide the children. you've been warned. today is the birthday of the great american character actor jim beaver from breaking bad. also the birthday of mark knopfler of dire straits and george sew rose is 83 years old.
5:01 pm
george soros uses his money to influence american politics. i learned that from a lot of fans of up are urt murdoch's -- of rupert murdoch's fox news. this is "viewpoint." >> john: i'm john fuglesang. this is "viewpoint." thank you so much for joining us tonight. election day 2006 is still 1186 days away but don't tell iowa. the state hosted namer players from both parties this past weekend. claire mccaskill whipped up a a crowd at madam president town hall. it had all of the markings of a hillary clinton campaign event except for the fact there was no candidate. that will have to wait until mrs. clinton decides whether or
5:02 pm
not to run. meantime in ames, iowa, the g.o.p.'s crop of candidates at the second annual family leadership summit. some 1500 religious conservatives cleared the likes of possible presidential candidates rick santorum and noted spiritual adviser donald trump. but it was texas senator ted cruz who raised the roof with the biggest applause line of the day. >> there was no more important regulatory reform that we can do than to repeal every single word of obama. [ cheering ] and that reaction right there shows -- >> john: because those evangelicals know the one thing jesus was known for is taking away affordable healthcare for the poor. it is red meat for the crowds but the president wasn't the only target. both cruz and santorum took swipes at mitt romney's failed 2012 campaign while others wrung their hands over the g.o.p.'s
5:03 pm
shaky future. if recent history is our guide, they could have ample reason to fear. dan balz is chief correspondent at the "washington post," also the author of the highly praised essential new book "collision 2012", obama versus romney and the future of elections in america. he joins us now from washington, d.c. dan, what a pleasure. thank you so much for being here on "viewpoint." >> john, thank you. >> john: congratulations to all of the acclaim your book has received. as you know, this weekend in iowa, both santorum and cruz criticized the romney campaign for its use of the catchphrase "you did build that." their argument it was another instance of him cozying up to the rich republicans. was that mitt romney's core problem as you see it? >> well, it was certainly a problem, john, in this respect. governor romney and president obama look at the economy from two totally different perspectives. their life experiences push them
5:04 pm
in different directions. when governor romney talked about the economy, he often talked about it from the perspective of job creators, whether small business people or larger business owners. he did not talk about the economy in terms of the working people. the people who were working in those factories or in the small businesses. i think, as a result of that, there was a disconnect for romney. we often talk about a candidate's ability or inability to connect with voters and i think that in romney's case, it was in a sense, a reverse issue which was that voters could not quite connect with him because of his life experience with which they could not identify. >> john: you write early on, even governor romney wasn't sure he was a good fit for the modern g.o.p. he black balled his own candidacy in the famous family vote over whether he should run in 2012 especially after losing millions of his own money in 2008. what were his concerns about running again last year? >> he had two different concerns, john. one was whether or not he would be the strongest candidate to run in the general election
5:05 pm
against president obama. he said to me if some other republicans, he mentioned jeb bush as one example, if they had run or decided to run, he might not have decided to do so. he did say that once the field, as we finally saw it, began to assemble, he did think he was the strongest of that group to take on the president. but, as you say, he also had some qualms about whether he fit well within the republican party as it came out of the 2010 elections. he said stuart stevens, his chief strategist often said to him this is a southern-based party, you're a northerner. this is an evangelical party, you're a mormon. this is a conservative party and you're seen as a more moderate conservative from massachusetts. he wondered whether he could win over the republican base. >> john: despite his own are you luctance, he was seen as a front-runner fairly early on. he was in 2008 before mccain won new hampshire. there were some noteworthy republicans who wanted to see chris christie throw his hat in
5:06 pm
the ring. how is it that chris christie wound up endorsing the governor so early in the race? >> well, for two reasons. one is i don't think chris christie ever really wanted to run in 2012. it really was just too early for him. and he said that from the beginning when the first speculation about a possible campaign surfaced. he said it until the very end. there were some very wealthy republican contributors who tried to get him to run in the middle of 2011. implored him to run. among that group was henry kissinger, the former secretary of state who said at a breakfast one morning in front of a large group of people with christie there, the presidency is about two things. it is about courage and character and you have both and your country needs you. in the end, chris christie decided it was still not his moment. he wasn't ready to step out of the governor's office to take on, in essence, full-time task of running for president. he decided to endorse mitt romney early right after that
5:07 pm
within a few days of his announcement that he wouldn't run, because he did think that of the group that was in the field at that point, by now, we're in october of 2011 and there have been a lot of debates and some ups and downs of various candidates, he thought that mitt romney was the strongest of that field and he also knew that getting in early was an important chip for him. >> john: we can't talk about the governor's campaign without mentioning his infamous 47% remark. you've written about it eloquently in the book. in case anyone's forgotten, that's when romney was caught describing 47% of americans as "victims who believe that they are entitled to healthcare, to food, to housing, to you name it." his words live on tape. and yet in a post-election interview with you, dan, he sort of denied he ever said it. how does that work? what is his reasoning? >> i think his reasoning is whatever the words were, it did not reflect what he really thinks and when i talked to him which was in late january of
5:08 pm
this year, i did a long interview with him for the book. we got to that episode toward the end of the interview and he said, when i mentioned some aspect of it, he said i didn't really say that. he grabbed his ipad and he went down and found some of the words that he had remembered and some of the notes he had made about them. so in a sense, i think he was -- he was still processing what had happened to him in that campaign. he wanted to believe that he didn't believe what he had actually said and so therefore, he was saying he didn't really say that. on the other hand, john, he knew how damaging that moment was for him. he did not duck from that. it became the reality that that's what i believed and i was fighting against that. >> john: it was a strange piece of cognitive dissidence. i have to admit i was as surprised to hear the governor talking that way as i was to hear him making obama birth certificate jokes or standing next to a drunken meet of meat loaf at a rally.
5:09 pm
it seems like the governor was logical to go out of his comfort film zone and to be what he thought the base of the southern g.o.p. wanted? >> well, you know, it is always hard for a candidate who is just slightly out of sync with part party you have to win over to win a nomination. and candidates do things they might not otherwise do. frankly, they end up on campaign stages with people who say things that they can't really be held responsible for. having said that, you know, he was not a natural campaigner. you know, some people are really good at the retail side of politics. and mitt romney was not as good as others and he had a way of saying things that got him into trouble. some of them were kind of off the cuff. some of them in the end were, you know, relatively harmless but there were enough of them that they kept coming back and reinforcing an image of romney as being out of touch and not empathetic to the lives of middle class voters.
5:10 pm
and the 47% comment really summed all of that up and that really critical moment in the campaign for him. >> john: that very mean, mean of the 47% was around for awhile. i was surprised to hear governor romney glom on to it. the race came down to mitt romney versus president obama. very exciting race for my money. and full of a lot of surprises. you call it collision 2012. why did you settle on that title? >> for several reasons. first of all, i felt that it was a collision between the america that had elected president obama in 2008 and the america that brought in republicans into control in the house of representatives in 2010. two americas with quite strikingly different views of the world. i also thought it was a collision between philosophies of government, philosophies about the economy. as we know, these two parties are far apart on how you deal with the economy, how you create jobs. how you use government in the economy or not. so that was second.
5:11 pm
and the third, frankly, was a collision between two very different candidates. the life experiences of barack obama and governor romney were polls apart. so they were coming at this election both representative of parties that had a different view of the world but also as two men who had different experiences that affected the way they campaigned and saw the policies that they enunciated. >> john: speaking of the different ways they campaigned, of course, much has been made of the obama campaign's high tech advantage. we heard about that in 2008 as well. but where does that advantage really come into play? is it in fund-raising or get out the vote drives or using social media better? >> in some ways, it affects all aspects of the campaign because the more sophisticated they are about some of the things having -- and sense of exploiting technology and social media, the more efficient they can be. they can spend their dollars more wisely. whether it is in deciding where to run their advertising or where to knock on the doors when
5:12 pm
they have their volunteers out on the street. i think it -- i think it had some effect on the get out the vote operation. it was decisive overall in the campaign? probably not. but in a state like florida, could it have been the difference, a state that was decided by less than 1 percentage point, it might well have made a difference. they could go into a neighborhood and they could say, instead of knocking on 15 or 18 doors in this neighborhood, we're going to knock on two. one is a person that we know will support the president if we can only get that person to the polls and the other is a person who is still genuinely undecided. there are a lot of people who say they're undecided who really aren't. genuinely undecided. if we go knock on the door, maybe we can persuade that person to be with president obama. >> john: fascinating. dan, this is the time of the interview for the obligatory hillary clinton question. when might we expect a decision from mrs. clinton as to a potential presidency? >> i would not think we would
5:13 pm
have a decision until the midterm elections next year. a real decision right after that. we will begin to see some signs at some point next year as she goes out and presumably campaigns on behalf of other democrats. she will be in great demand, i'm sure by democrats in races around the country. so we may be able to get some sense of it. but i think she has the luxury of being able to wait a good, long time because she starts this race with a number of advantages, obviously. >> john: dan, is there a republican right now that can beat hillary clinton to your reckoning in 2016? >> in a country that remains as divided as this is, you can a, anticipate that this will potentially be a close election in 2016. on the other hand, because of the demographics in this country, i think that there is a built-in advantage to the democrats in the national vote unless republicans do significantly better with the hispanic vote. so the question is what is the right path for the republicans and i think one of the things we're seeing at this very early
5:14 pm
stage is people beginning to test out different messages and different appeals to different parts of the party. we've seen it in the dust up between chris christie and rand paul. we saw it over the weekend in iowa with people who were talking to the family leader, summit meeting. and we will see more of it. there are a lot of people who could potentially run. we haven't begun to hear all of that much from all of them. i think we have a long way to go on that front before we know which of the candidates may, in fact, be capable of defeating hillary clinton if she decides to run. >> john: i hope you're right about it. dan balz is the author of "collision 2012". thank you for joining us and thank you for making politics and history so fun and exciting. >> thank you, john. >> john: president obama wants to reform america's surveillance programs. yea! but he thinks congress is going to help him get that done. boo! we'll break that down. >> no, they said "make us a
5:15 pm
turkey and make it fast". >> (laughter). >> she gets the comedians laughing. >> that's the best! >> that's hilarious. >> ... and the thinkers thinking. >> okay, so there is wiggle room in the ten commandments is what you're telling me. >> she's joy behar. >> ya, i consider you jew-talian. >> okay, whatever you want. >> who plays kafka? >> who saw kafka? >> who ever saw kafka? >> (laughter). >> asking the tough questions. >> chris brown, i mean you wouldn't let one of your daughters go out with him. >> absolutely not. >> you would rather deal with ahmadinejad then me? >> absolutely! >> (singing) >> i take lipitor, thats it. >> are you improving your lips? >> (laughter). >> when she's talking, you never know where the conversation is going to go. >> it looks like anthony wiener is throwing his hat in the ring. >> his what in the ring? >> his hat. >> always outspoken, joy behar. >> and the best part is that current will let me say anything. what the hell were they thinking? >> only on current tv.
5:16 pm
cenk off air alright in 15 minutes we're going to do the young turks! i think the number 1 thing than viewers like about
5:17 pm
the young turks is that were honest. they know that i'm not bsing them for some hidden agenda, actually supporting one party or the other. when the democrats are wrong, they know i'm going to be the first one to call them out. cenk on air>> what's unacceptable is how washington continues to screw the middle class over. cenk off air i don't want the middle class taking the brunt of the spending cuts and all the different programs that wind up hurting the middle class. cenk on air you got to go to the local level, the state level and we have to fight hard to make sure they can't buy our politics anymore. cenk off air and they can question if i'm right about that. but i think the audience gets that, i actually mean it. cenk on air 3 trillion dollars in spending cuts! narrator uniquely progressive and always topical, the worlds largest online news show is on current tv. cenk off air and i think the audience gets, "this guys to best of his abilities is trying to look out for us." only on current tv!
5:18 pm
>> john: oklahoma to "viewpoint." edward snowden's leaked revelation about the nsa set off a firestorm of outrage from americans from both the right and the left. president obama tried to douse the flames at his press conference on friday. >> obama: we can and must be more transparent. so i've directed the intelligence community to make public as much information about these programs as possible. we've already declassified unprecedented information about the nsa. but we can go further. >> john: the president said he'll work with congress to reform section 215 of the patriot act which deals with the collection of phone records. he'll also reform oversight of the foreign intelligence surveillance court and make the rationale for the collections public. but is he setting himself up for anotheriation where not much gets done and no one's happy? let's ask the smartest guy in the room, michael tomasky in d.c., a special columnist for "newsweek" and the "daily beast" and has been a treasured guest on our show. welcome back to "viewpoint." >> second smartest guy in the
5:19 pm
room. >> john: thank you and god bless your low standards. the steps the president talked about aren't revolutionary. you wrote what the president's done is quite remarkable. why is that? >> well, because he is relinquishing some degree of executive power. and you know, i agree these aren't huge moves. and many civil libertarians aren't going to be thrilled or weren't thrilled by the four specific steps he announced. i would still say, john, when have we ever seen a president of the united states say that he's logical to relinquish some executive power. executive power has grown and grown and grown in this country over the decades, especially since 1947 when the national security state was basically created. and then even more so, in the age of television when the president became such a commanding president -- presence, schlesinger wrote a book "the imperial presidency" published in 1973 which traced all of the history.
5:20 pm
ever since then, die recall a president, democratic or republican, saying i'm willing to give up some degree of executive power until last friday. >> john: a government leader giving up government power. the tea party will like him now for sure. michael, why do you think his proposed changes at the foreign intelligence surveillance court hearings are such a big deal? >> i think this is probably the biggest of the four specific moves that he announced. granted, these are all just theoretical. they haven't happened yet. they're going to take awhile to happen. here is the deal with the court. right now, when the government wants to put on a wiretap or make some kind of domestic surveillance move, they go before one of these judges on the federal intelligence surveillance court, these judges' identities weren't known until "the washington post" made them known a little while ago. so the judges weren't even known and the main thing is these judges heard only the
5:21 pm
government's case. there's no adversarial proceeding before that court. so the government lawyer said here's why we need the wiretap. quite naturally, the judges quite often granted the wiretap. what obama is proposing is that there will be some kind of adversarial presence in the proceedings to make the argument that no, in fact, this is overreach. the government doesn't need to make this move. and you know, i think that's pretty healthy. >> john: would you describe it as being a civil liberties advocate who will be in the room? >> i don't know to be honest with you. i would think it would have to be to some extent. but we'll find all of that out later as the details of this get flushed out. it would be pretty bad, i guess, if it were -- a natural security advocate. >> john: let's get rumsfeld. he's got free time. president obama said repeatedly on friday, michael, he would get the reforms done by working with congress. is he kidding? that hasn't worked. what makes this different?
5:22 pm
>> well, you know, maybe nothing makes this different. but there is a little ray of sunshine, i see here on this one. for this reason, john. there are plenty of people in both parties, liberal democrats, civil libertarian democrats and libertarian republicans who might conceivably actually forge a rare coalition to do this sort of thing. a key figure here will be jim sensenbrenner, republican congressman who has been around for a long, long time. he was a leader in the drafting of the patriot act back in 2001. and he said before obama's speech, a couple of months ago, i think, he said that section 215 of the patriot act was something that he would now like to revisit. if sensenbrenner decides to get behind this package of reforms and throw his weight in it, he could conceivably bring along republican votes. it is maybe possible that
5:23 pm
something could happen here. >> john: i think you're right about the unexpected coalitions, michael. it em speaks directly to your most recent column because the aclu and harder right libertarians have both criticized this move. why do you think the president will end up getting more flak than credit? >> well, because it's never enough, you know. civil libertarians are pretty absolutists in general. and pretty insistent and look, they have reason to be. i'm glad they're there. i'm glad that we have people pressing the administration to make this case and i'm glad "the guardian" and "the washington post" broke the story so we could have the debate. that's something i disagree with obama on but obama said we would have had this debate anyway in a more measured way. i'm not sure i think that's true. it is a good thing we're having this debate but civil libertarians tend to be -- on the left and i guess now on the right, too, tend to be kind of
5:24 pm
absolutists so nothing that obama does will be enough. and i don't think they think quite enough about the national security concerns here. which, to me, are really very real. >> john: i think you're right. president obama, as you mentioned, said that edward snowden was "not a patriot." but here's the question, michael, when all is said and done, could these reforms become an unlikely part of edward snowden's positive legacy. >> sure, they could. they could. i mean he's -- he's the one who sparked this debate as i just said. and i don't think obama would have acted in quite so dramatic a way, anyway, without these revelations. you know, i don't think the polls show, john, that the pressure is so great on him that he had to do something. this is not the kind of situation where public outrage was so huge and so intense that he had to act. but i do think undoubtedly, it
5:25 pm
has to do with the snowden revelations. there's no questioning that. >> john: before we go, as you know, u.s. embassies across the middle east are open again after recent fears of terrorist attacks were calmed. however, the outpost in yemen remains closed. as america continues its use of drones and calls for transparency, what do you think are the biggest challenges for president obama in refocusing the war on terror? >> well, you know, the fact that al-qaeda now is apparently not one thing or al-qaeda in afghanistan and pakistan is pretty decimated but al-qaeda is in other places, increasingly in syria, effects of the arab spring have been detrimental to american intelligence gathering. and arab nations now are more diffuse and the human intelligence aspect has to be kind of rebuilt from the ground, up. then there's the question of the drones. and john kerry said a couple of
5:26 pm
weeks ago that he did think that we were on a path, he didn't say we're ending drone use. it was interpreted that way by some people. he didn't quite say that. he said we have a plan to end the drone use. and you know, we'll have to see how that plays out and what kind of positive effect that might have in the region. but it is just been getting more and more complicated. >> john: michael tomasky is a special columnist for "newsweek" and the "daily beast." michael, it has been a real honor having you as a part of the show. i thank you truly and deeply for bringing your intelligence and grace to this broadcast on a regular basis. >> my idea of a one good cable show is one i watch when i'm not on and i watch this one. >> john: thank you so much. have a great week. speak of great men, donald trump talks out of both sides of his mouth. maybe someone will contact the media.
5:27 pm
5:28 pm
(vo) later tonight, current tv is the place for compelling true stories. >> jack, how old are you? >> nine. >> this is what 27 tons of marijuana looks like. (vo) with award winning documentaries that take you inside the headlines, way
5:29 pm
inside. (vo) from the underworld, to the world of privilege. >> everyone in michael jackson's life was out to use him. (vo) no one brings you more documentaries that are real, gripping, current. >> john: okay, now ate time for the tale of three babies. one of mixed race born in hawaii. one of mixed race born in canada. and a great, big orange baby on your tv screen. >> you don't still question he was born in the united states, do you? >> i have no idea. >> even at this point? >> well, i don't know. was it a birth certificate? you tell me. some people say that was not his birth certificate. i'm saying i don't know. nobody knows. you don't know either, jonathan. you're a smart guy. >> i'm pretty convinced -- >> ah, pretty. you said -- >> totally. >> without question. >> you say you're pretty convinced. okay. >> let me ask you this.
5:30 pm
ted cruz, born in canada. >> yeah. >> is he eligible to be president of the united states? >> if he was born in canada, perhaps not. i'm not sure where he was born. >> he was definitely born in canada. >> you'll have to ask him that question. >> ted cruz's mother was an american citizen. >> look, that will be ironed out. i don't know the circumstances. i heard somebody tell me he was born in canada. that's really his thing. >> john: that's right, folks. in you're born in hawaii and you're black or half black, your birth certificate is suspect. if you're born in canada and you're not black, it is your thing. this show is about analyzing, criticizing, and holding policy to the fire. are you encouraged by what you heard the president say the other night? is this personal or is it political? a lot of my work happens by doing the things that i am given to doing anyway. staying in tough with everything that is going on politically and putting my own nuance on it. not only does senator rubio just care about rich people but somehow he thinks raising the minimum wage is a bad idea for the middle class. but we do care
5:31 pm
about them, right? vo: the war room monday to thursday at 6 eastern
5:32 pm
5:33 pm
you know who is coming on to me now? you know the kind of guys that do reverse mortgage commercials? those types are coming on to me all the time now. (vo) she gets the comedians laughing and the thinkers thinking. >>ok, so there's wiggle room in the ten commandments, that's what you're saying. you would rather deal with ahmadinejad than me. >>absolutely. >> and so would mitt romney. (vo) she's joy behar. >>and the best part is that current will let me say anything. what the hell were they thinking? >> john: new york stop and frisk has been stopped or at least slowed. monday, judge shira scheindlin found the stop and frisk tactics of the nypd which allows police officers to stop and pat down any individual they found suspicious, aka you know who did violate the constitutional
5:34 pm
rights of tens of thousands of new yorkers. although stop and frisk is a word did better with focus groups than empty your pockets now brown person. the court called for a federal monitor to oversee broad reforms of the policy. judge scheindlin stated the city had... >> john: and here to discuss this ruling and another criminal justice policy decided today, i'm thrilled to be joined by two of my incredibly esteemed guests of this wonderful run, democratic strategist and contributor to, mr. rick ungar. and republican strategist and partner at mercury, a bipartisan national public affairs firm, mr. tom doherty. welcome back to the show, gentlemen. >> always good to be here. >> john: great to have you
5:35 pm
both here. let me start with you, rick, what do you think of the ruling on stop and frisk? >> i think it was somewhat inevitable. no question that it was a civil rights violation. what's going to be interesting now is to see where this goes. people forget the supreme court does permit stop and frisk as long as there's a reasonable suspicion. question is what's suspicion? we know they went too far because we know that 88% of the people who were stopped and risked never got a ticket, never got arrested. so now we see where it goes. >> john: tom, are you surprised to see a judge putting a stop on it? >> a liberal democratic judge appointed by bill clinton, no. i was shocked. we were just counting the hours until this happened. listen, people who suffer are the people of new york who suffer. and quite honestly, i wished it was this outraged when african-americans were being slaughtered across the streets of harlem and brooklyn in the '70s and the '80s. nobody seemed to care then. >> john: the liberals did. >> you know what? so then we put in a policy that unfortunately i said a long time ago, i don't like a young hispanic kid is being stopped
5:36 pm
and questioned. that's not good. but the bottom line is the streets of new york are much, much safer than they've ever been. that means businesses are opening up in communities they never were. jobs are being created. that's the wayer we're going to solve this problem. >> john: have you been stopped and frisked by cops? >> i wouldn't have a problem if i was. >> john: guys that look like you and me aren't getting frisked. >> john, unfortunately the reason that's the case is police is all about profiling. all police work is profiling. so they're not going to profile 50-year-old chunky tom as a criminal because i'm not -- i'm not filling rikers. if we had more police, we could profile everybody. >> john: i do wish they would stop and frisk down by wall street because that's where the real crime is and all of the coke. >> tom is right when he points out crime has gone down. it will be interesting to see if the police department does put a grip on it, it crime starts to go up. >> john: what's the ripple
5:37 pm
effect of this? will this allow incarcerated inmates to sue and challenge the basis of their arrest? >> it is probably unlikely because it is a standard. what the court really said was the standard was wrong. what's going to be difficult to prove on an individual basis is one person who comes up and says i didn't look suspicious. >> john: tom, you know mayor bloomberg defends this policy. he says he will repeal the ruling. will he succeed? >> well, i guess if he gets a conservative republican judge, he will. ultimately, this is heading in a bad path for the city of people. at some level, unless it got to the supreme court which would be a very interesting test case. profiling, we need to be honest with one another. profiling is a police tactic used forever and ever and ever. >> do you deny the civil rights viles per the supreme court's holding? that's a yes or no. >> if they were stopping 100 out of 100 white people and it drove crime rates down, i would have
5:38 pm
no issue with it. >> except that it violates the law. >> but -- at the end of the day, we need a safe city so then we need to change the laws. we need to go back and fix the laws. >> john: on behalf of tommy and the mayor, there are those who support this policy. but assuming stop and frisk had an impact on the drop in crime rate, are we saying we must sacrifice civil liberties to live in a safer society? >> we actually always said that. that's nothing new. so it is -- it is the supreme balancing act. i thought where the court got to, it was about right. we're going to say stop and frisk is not violative of your civil rights as long as there is a reasonable suspicion. that's where the judge came down on the law today. this is what bothers. we know you're not doing it with reasonable suspicion otherwise you guys stink at knowing who was suspicious or not. 88%, not even a ticket. >> john: every weed delivery
5:39 pm
guy is caucasian, they ain't getting stopped. to an announcement that attorney general eric holder made addressing a major shift in criminal justice policy. the obama administration will move to ease overcrowding in federal prisons to ordering prosecutors to omit lifting quantities of illegal substances, side-stepping federal laws and impose strict mandatory minimum sentences for drug-related offenses. take a look. >> unnecessarily large prison population. we need to ensure that incarceration is used to punish, to deter and rehabilitate but not merely to warehouse and to forget. too many americans go to too many prisons for far too long and for no truly good law enforcement reason. >> john: tommy, holder sites the draconian minimums and prisons as being crazy overpopulated. this seems like an area where a
5:40 pm
lot of libertarians could agree. what do you think? >> i agree wholeheartedly. where we need to put our focus, there is no reason to put a low-level drug dealer in prison for ten years. that serves no purpose. it cost us a lot of money. what we do need to do, what we talk about is treatment. we do not spend enough as a society an drug treatment. we need to focus -- and i think newt gingrich talked about it, there are republicans who said we need to do this because ultimately, that's what's going to fix the problem. >> john: last fall, barack obama before the election vaguely said he would revisit marijuana policy in his second term. is this decision the guy way drug? >> i suspect this is that revisiting policy. tommy put it beautifully. why have a thing to add to that. >> john: don't go anywhere. rick and tom are stick around for america's favorite past time. it is time once again for the final edition of ask a tea partier.
5:41 pm
compelling true stories. >> jack, how old are you? >> nine. >> this is what 27 tons of marijuana looks like. (vo) with award winning documentaries that take you inside the headlines, way inside. (vo) from the underworld, to the world of privilege. >> everyone in michael jackson's life was out to use him. (vo) no one brings you more documentaries that are real, gripping, current.
5:42 pm
5:43 pm
5:44 pm
>> john: according to a new survey by the pew research center, tea party members dominate g.o.p. elections. how much you ask? well, the survey suggests 86% of tea party members which, by the way is not an actual party, they're republicans, always or nearly always vote in g.o.p. primary elections while only 67% of the nontea party g.o.p. supporters vote in primaries which is still pretty impressive compared to the lazy democrats at primary season.
5:45 pm
as the tea party continues to play a major role in republican politics, how best to fully understand their position on the issues affecting the american people. how else but by playing a round of america's most selectively underviewed game show, ask a tea partier! those current bucks at work right there. look at that budget. i'm pleased to welcome back our returning champion, the news director for the tea party news network, friend to "viewpoint," friend to the powerful, friend to the tea partier, the wonderful luminous scottie nell hughes. bachelor nom one, contributor to, enjoys long walks on the beach and single payer healthcare, please welcome the ever punctual, rick ungar and bachelor number two, an aquarous, g.o.p. strategist and partner at mercury, a bipartisan national affairs firm from the great state of new jersey, say hello to tommy doherty. let us get started. our first topic is going to go to rick and it will be on obamacare. rick ungar, what would you like
5:46 pm
to ask a tea partier? >> let's see what we have for you, scottie. let's say the tea party magically got their way and obamacaravanished tomorrow. >> oh, yeah. >> would you want to go back to the system we've already had that leaves so many americans unable to access health coverage or does the tea party have a better idea and what is it if they do? >> there is not a single person in this country that doesn't realize there was something wrong with our healthcare system. it needed to be fixed. but what we needed instead of creating even more of a bureaucracy that there's nothing affordable about the affordable care act. >> give us yours. >> the key is we need an interstate exchanges. we need to have states be able to compete with other states to lower rates. >> i'm going to respond to that. i love the idea of the selling between states. you know what the problem is? >> what's that? >> and why it doesn't work, you can be a kentucky-based health insurance company and sell me a policy in los angeles. you're going to price that policy based on what it costs to get healthcare in los angeles.
5:47 pm
>> that's fine. then go back to kentucky. you're still allowing competition in the marketplace. >> you have competition. >> no, you do not. >> if this is such a great plan, why is congress and all of their staff getting out of it? >> john: okay. worth pointing out it is a republican-designed plan. >> oh, it is -- that is false. >> john: from our man of massachusetts. your topic is the looming government -- >> tea party favorite, paul ryan and republican budget guru -- >> i'm sorry. did you say tea party favorite -- >> says shutting down the government is a bad idea. do you agree or disagree? >> if our guys aren't going to stand hold and make sure that obamacare is completely defunded then shut it down. i can guarantee there will probably not be many tea partiers -- >> even the ones who won't be getting their medicare payments or social security? >> or the veterans?
5:48 pm
>> let's point this out here. let's point this out here. we have -- newt gingrich shut down the government. probably one of the best things he could have done for the government. >> he would disagree with you. >> we had -- >> john: one at a time. one at a time. scottie. >> okay, no, no, no. it was a great idea. it was the only thing we could do. >> john: let her finish you filthy democrats. next topic -- >> hold on. >> john: i'm moving on. next is the controversial topic of immigration featuring white people, the original illegal immigrants. this top lick go to both contestants. we'll start with rick. >> the tea party has taken a firm stand against immigration despite the fact that most economists say it would be one of the best things we could do for our economy. is it really about immigrants or is it really about -- you don't want them voting democrat. >> i'm sorry. what economist are we talking about here? 11 million -- you two are going to agree.
5:49 pm
there are 11 million illegals in this country. that's the reason why we're fighting over healthcare and education. there's too much of a strain right now. they're not adding into the system. secure america -- secure america now -- americans come first. let's protect our finances. >> what do you think the illegal immigrants are getting in healthcare. >> have you been to a local emergency room? >> more times than you can imagine. >> i would imagine you've seen a whole variety. >> john: i'm going to shift it over to tommy. doing nothing and leaving it -- >> we don't need to do at nothing. we need to secure -- >> taxpayers have to pay emergency room costs because there's no healthcare bill. >> quickly mention who passed the law that allows everybody to be treated in the emergency room? that would be ronald reagan. >> john: that's correct. tommy doherty, over to you. anything you would like to ask a tea partier? >> ronald reagan in amnesty, as well. the problem is that ronald reagan would never have been supported by the tea party.
5:50 pm
that's a fact. >> that's not true. that's completely wrong and you know that. that is why we keep having moderates as the head of our ticket because of people like you. ronald reagan -- >> john: do you have a question? >> my other question is based on the poll that you said is if we keep having tea party, supposedly the people that vote in primaries, how did we get mitt romney? >> that's your side. >> my side is bigger than your side. we secure the border which we should, okay. >> it should already be done. the law is already in place thanks to ronald reagan. >> so we secure the border. what would you like to do with the 11 million undocumented people here today? >> well, ideally, it would be let's send them back to mexico. >> john: they're not all from mexico. >> from some other places. the majority of them. we need to find a way that makes an honest way to citizenship. what we have right now is broken but that doesn't mean we give them instant amnesty.
5:51 pm
it is already on the books. >> who talks about amnesty? >> scottie -- >> john: i have to go to our last category. mother russia. anything having to do with russia. we'll start with tom. >> why does he get russia? >> john: they both do. >> tom doesn't have a russian question. my question would be this, scottie. do you agree with me that the president really wimped out by canceling his meeting with putin? it was like the guy who took the ball and went home? >> president obama said i will meet with anybody. he's met with terrorists. he said he will meet with chavez and castro. >> john: which terrorist? >> go over in the middle east. >> john: which terrorists? name one? >> before egypt was overthrown? >> john: name one terrorist he met with? rick, your question. >> i have a little different twist on it. we all know that the obama administration has been very active in supporting gay rights. i don't think the tea party --
5:52 pm
and we all know where russia is today on gay rights. not very good. so don't you find it odd that the tea party is siding with russia? >> okay. listen. we're not always going to agree 100%. ronald reagan taught us the 20/80 rule. we don't agree -- it is not on a gay rights issue. you're totally trying to mix it up and muddy the waters. typical liberal propaganda question. is it odd we're siding with russia? >> you are siding with russia. >> the problem is it is not an issue taken up by the tea party officially anyway. >> you guys have a meet about this? >> not trying to make certain -- >> john: time to declare a winner and the winner is the very wonderful scottie nell hughes. scottie wins. >> i know. >> john: scottie wins a free copy of ted cruz's canadian birth certificate.
5:53 pm
stick around for a very personal f bomb as we face our final four shows here on current. thank you, all. that was crazy. cenk off air alright in 15 minutes we're going to do the young turks! i think the number 1 thing than viewers like about the young turks is that were honest. they know that i'm not bsing them for some hidden agenda, actually supporting one party or the other. when the democrats are wrong, they know i'm going to be the first one to call them out. cenk on air>> what's unacceptable is how washington continues to screw the middle class over. cenk off air i don't want the middle class taking the brunt of the spending cuts and all the different programs that wind up hurting the middle class. cenk on air you got to go to the local level, the state level and we have to fight hard to make sure they can't buy our politics anymore. cenk off air and they can question if i'm right about that. but i think the audience gets that, i actually mean it. cenk on air 3 trillion dollars in spending cuts! narrator uniquely progressive and always topical, the worlds largest online news show is on current tv. cenk off air
5:54 pm
and i think the audience gets, "this guys to best of his abilities is trying to look out for us." only on current tv!
5:55 pm
>> did anyone tell the pilgrims they should self-deport? >> no, they said "make us a turkey and make it fast". >> (laughter). >> she gets the comedians laughing. >> that's the best! >> that's hilarious. >> ... and the thinkers thinking. >> okay, so there is wiggle room in the ten commandments is what you're telling me. >> she's joy behar. >> ya, i consider you jew-talian. >> okay, whatever you want. >> who plays kafka? >> who saw kafka? >> who ever saw kafka? >> (laughter). >> asking the tough questions. >> chris brown, i mean you daughters go out with him. >> absolutely not. >> you would rather deal with ahmadinejad then me? >> absolutely! >> (singing) >> i take lipitor, thats it. >> are you improving your lips? >> (laughter). >> when she's talking, you never know where the conversation is going to go. >> it looks like anthony wiener is throwing his hat in the ring. >> his what in the ring? >> his hat. >> always outspoken, joy behar.
5:56 pm
>> and the best part is that current will let me say anything. what the hell were they thinking? >> only on current tv. >> john: so when i first signed on to do a series with al gore's current network, i didn't really know what to expect. but mr. gore offered me a ton of creative freedom to play with the news show format and there was a lot of very nice press last summer when i signed on. some wondered whether i was going to try to do a jon stuart ripoff. i was quick to correct them i was a bill maher ripoff. what became apparent my series wasn't going to be happening and once time-warner dropped the network after the sale to al jazeera america, i was asked to take over hosting "viewpoint." it wasn't what i signed on for but it turned out to be a great opportunity to work with the same staff that did excellent shows for keith olbermann and governor spitter. for the past eight months, the staff has conducted an experiment with topics here and tone and bookings and we've
5:57 pm
turned it into something very unique. very few tv news discussions shows can go from funny to serious on a dime. that's what we went for with newsmakers fill the first half and is a tearists the second. tonight's f bomb is a bit different. it is four reasons why "viewpoint" is better than most news shows you can actually see. number one, our guest bookings. i knew coming into with the all politics format on an off-election year, we went for more current events. media, religion, entertainment, science, sports, music, social media, pop, tech, health and nutrition, viral video, even reality tv. we were very proud to have a dynamic guest list. people like bill bradley, spike lee, michael moore, robert reich, we once had catholic league president phil donahue and phil dan hue on the same show. all female panels that focused on the economy. all african-american panels that focused on foreign policy, panels of latino comedians
5:58 pm
talking politics. the one goal was to make every segment of each episode as diverse as possible. number two, "viewpoint" used comedy in ways unlike any news show. billy wilder said once if you're going it tell people the truth, make it funny or they'll kill you. i think some of the smartest political thinkers are political comics. "viewpoint" recognized that and began creating our own, unique algonquin roundtables from sketches like "meet the press" reenactment theatre to the f bomb commentaries to elayne boosler, joy behar, my partner, frank conniff brought new perspectives and made serious matters highly entertaining. where else are you going to see dick cabot on panels? our take on religion because sometimes the only religious point of view you hear on tv are the far right fundamentalists who have assumed religion as their property. my mom was a nun, my dad was a franciscan brother. it is a big part of what i do as a comedian. i'm proud to have worked on the show with theologians where my
5:59 pm
first show was a christian, a muslim and an atheist who looks like jesus. our bipartisan approach. viewers are leery of the yak fest where the puppet plays with the puppet on the left. we tried to do a political talk show that's more like sports talk where people can disagree passionately but it is entertaining. you can tell everyone still gets along and you don't have to wash yourself after listening. fair and biased was the motto. creating a fun place for differing views to come out and play. i'm proud that every republican who appeared on the show had a great time and said they would come back. "viewpoint" felt sane people are progressive. commonalities outweigh our differences. we took on the two party system. i got to be called an obama basher and an obama apologist every day which tells me we did something right. it has been my honor to work with this staff, to appear with the political figures, authors, journalists like michael hastings and artists. thank everyone for who's watched
6:00 pm
us. it has been be an honor to be a part of this unholy experiment. that's our show. thank you for joining us. this is "viewpoint." this is current. we're still here for three more days. i'm john fuglesang. a pleasure as always. good night, mom. >> joy: lily tomlin has starred in such iconic films as "nashville" "nine to five" plus laugh-in and the west wing. i'll let lily tell you all about it. comedian owe fear ya eisenberg is now dishing the dirt in her very amusing memoir, "screw everyone." i'll talk with nikki glaser about their journey from podcast to host of their own late night show on mtv. funny women in the spotlight tonight on "say anything." o a

Current August 12, 2013 5:00pm-6:01pm PDT

News/Business. (2013) New. (CC) (Stereo)

TOPIC FREQUENCY John 12, America 9, Romney 9, Obama 8, Russia 7, Us 7, Kafka 6, Canada 6, Washington 5, Chris Christie 5, Vo 4, Iowa 4, Dan 4, New York 3, Edward Snowden 3, Mexico 2, Underworld 2, D.c. 2, Tom 2, United States 2
Network Current
Duration 01:01:00
Rating PG
Scanned in San Francisco, CA, USA
Source Comcast Cable
Tuner Channel v107
Video Codec mpeg2video
Audio Cocec ac3
Pixel width 704
Pixel height 480
Sponsor Internet Archive
Audio/Visual sound, color

disc Borrow a DVD of this show
info Stream Only
Uploaded by
TV Archive
on 8/13/2013